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Newman Still Way Ahead of the Pack : Cross-country: El Camino Real freshman continues dominance with victory in City Section preliminaries.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jamie Newman, an El Camino Real High freshman, wasn’t seriously challenged during the regular season and that trend continued Wednesday as she won her heat of the City Section cross-country preliminaries by 47 seconds.

Newman’s time of 19 minutes 28 seconds over the three-mile course was 14 seconds off her winning mark in last week’s Northwest Valley Conference finals.

Still, she finished well ahead of runner-up Tamar Gamliel, her junior teammate, and ran 30 seconds faster than Hamilton’s Elizabeth Bernier, who won the other heat.

“I thought some of the other girls would be closer to her, but she just ran a beautiful race,” El Camino Real Coach George Martin said.

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Paced by Newman and Gamliel, El Camino Real totaled 106 points to place fourth and advance to the City finals on Nov. 18. Roosevelt edged Taft, 90-91, for first with Huntington Park third at 102.

The top five teams and individuals among the top 15 finishers but not on a qualifying team in each heat advanced to the City finals.

It will be interesting to see how Newman performs in the State championships on Nov. 25 when she’s apt to be trailing Santa Rosa’s Julia Stamps, Thousand Oaks’ Kim Mortensen and numerous others.

“It’s hard to tell how she’ll do in the State meet because she’s still got to get there,” Martin said. “She’s young and she still has a long ways to go, but she does have a beautiful stride.”

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The Birmingham girls’ team was the only other local winner, placing five runners among the top 17 to win its heat with 53 points.

Tiffany Burgess (fifth in 20:24) and Jackie Tillman (10th in 20:46) led the Braves to a comfortable victory over Bell (80) and defending City champion Palisades (98).

“What I was concerned about was the distance between our fifth and our first runner, but we did a good job with that,” Birmingham Coach Scott King said.

Uzziel Gray of Poly and the Monroe team were the top local qualifiers in the boys’ meet.

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In the first heat, Gray timed 15:54 to place third behind winner Manuel Lopez (15:22) of Belmont.

Monroe, paced by runner-up Ali BenMohamed (15:56) and fifth-place Danny Oliva (16:08), finished second to Palisades, 48-68, in the second heat.


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